CARLISLE manager Greg Abbott could not hide his delight after his battling team gained sweet revenge over league leaders Tranmere Rovers.
The Cumbrians slumped to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Rovers in their third game of the League One season but they pulled off a shock win on Saturday thanks to Rory Loy’s first-half strike.
Tranmere were reduced to 10 men after 35 minutes when Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro was sent off for kicking out at ex-Sheffield Wednesday right back Frank Simek.
Loy made the most of Carlisle’s one-man advantage just before the break when he connected with Matt Robinson’s cross.
“Tranmere got our season off to an absolute nightmare when we played them in our first home game so we got a little bit of respect back against a side that has been unbelievably good this year,” said Abbott.
“We are happy bunnies but there is a long way to go and we have our own ambitions to move up the table. Unless you roll your sleeves up you will get turned over at Tranmere.
“They work and fight for everything but we have got an honest and determined group of staff and players and I think we just about deserved to win.
“The sending-off probably helped them more than it helped us as we became a bit complacent but we have won the game and that is all I care about.”
Bournemouth closed the gap on Tranmere and second-placed Doncaster as they recorded a 3-0 win over 10-man MK Dons.
Ex-Rotherham United marksman Lewis Grabban opened the scoring before Ryan Lowe was sent off just before the break.
Marc Pugh still had time to score the Cherries’ second before the half-time whistle, with Harry Arter adding the third in the 84th minute.
Yeovil claimed their fifth successive league win with a 3-0 victory over Brentford.
Paddy Madden scored his 14th league goal of the season and Ed Upson hit a spectacular second before Dan Burn volleyed a late third to seal victory.
Colchester saw off the late challenge of Portsmouth to win 3-2 after they scored three early goals at Fratton Park.
Gavin Massey scored either side of Jed Wallace’s goal for Pompey, with Freddie Sears firing in a penalty for Colchester in the first 20 minutes.
James Keane scored for Portsmouth after the break but the scoreline remained at 3-2 in the visitors’ favour.
Elsewhere, Shrewsbury came from behind to beat Preston 2-1 at Deepdale.
Stuart Beavon put the home side ahead just before the break, but a goal by Jon Taylor and penalty by Matthew Richards saw Shrewsbury take the points.